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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hiya guys,

First of all, please ignore my ignorance. I am still relatively new to the hobby and so far have stuck to RTR cars.

OK, heres the thing. The club that I race are thinking about doing something a bit different. They have been toying with the idea of running womp style bodied cars (the advantage for us, one of our members has been doing vacuum formed bodies for years and has plenty of these to choose from) on a metal womp chassis, OR something like a slot it adjustable chassis, OR some form of s/steel lazer cut type chassis. The plan is to run RTR 18000 rpm motors (like the Ozrace type) and RTR wheels and tyres. Obviously things are still a bit in the air...

Anyhow, that got me thinking.... What the .... is a Womp?

After searching a few forums, answers were few and far between.

So the question stands. What is a Womp? What defines a womp? Why do they not appear to be to popular, or am I looking in the wrong places.

Any answers will be appreciated
 

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A Womp (aka Womp-Womp) is a 1:32 size car with a single piece brass or steel stamped chassis. It takes a large Parma 16D motor, mine have the "Homeset" version which is designed to run on 12V. The motor fitting is in-line and the rear axle ( 1/8") takes massive chunky foam tyres. Front wheels are aluminium O-ring types.

The whole thing is a sort of 'dumbed down' brass hinged chassis arrangement, albeit without the hinges. You don't need to solder as the motor is designed with two hexagonal screws to mount it. The standard flag is shallow to run on home plexitrack but it can be replaced with a deeper 'raceway' type flag if you are prepared to solder the guide wires.

Bodies are quite ugly. Here's a particularly foul example...



Parma supply bodies (cartoon-like would be a nice way of saying it) that are prepainted in one flat colour, headlamps and all. Even the most cack-handed spraycan monkey (i.e. me) can do something better with a plain body and some spraycans. Unfortunately the wheelbase of the Parma Womp is quite short so that the vac bodies produced by JK, Betta etc. are not very good fits (which is a shame as many of them are quite nice) perhaps the shorter w/b Betta ones might be useful.

I'm not a massive fan of the Womps but it is a 'real metal' slotcar for very little money or preparation time. I think they are a little dated now, in this day and age you might be better off looking at the TSRF which is a much better handling, nicer looking chassis that can take vac as well as hardbody. The TSRF is a much better fit size-wise for the modern vac bodies as well.

Coop
 

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Hi

Womps were derived at the end of the 60s Fad for "1/32" class. While 1/24 got a lot of press, there were a great many american club and club tracks in the U.S. and most of them followed "midwest" style contstruction using, essentially a brass plate as a chassis with things soldered to it. In 64, AMT had a front rank racer design a "state of the art" car for them that could be mass produced, this AMT "SS" chassis was effective and popular. Russkit, who had been manufacturing 1/32 club equipment(the owner was a club racer), followed suit with a similar car the "Russkit Rattler" which was a two piece brass pan chassis that allowed some body mvement. THIS one was also popular.

These two chassis were limited. The AMT was only usable with 90" wheelbase models with 2" width, the Russkit had a couple axle holes and for a couple WB, and the same width.

When "Parma" bought out Russkit during the collapse of the slot car boom, they had little use for the "rattlers". I suspect(I have no inside knowledge) that their reason for buying the company was the Russkit trigger controller which became the parma controller we use today! They discovered these were selling well in club circles. HOWEVER, their interest was in track racing and they briefly released some of these chassis with big foamy front tires as a novelty to the commercial tracks and the kids loved the Cartoon aspect. Parma quickly tooled up an even simpler cheaper chassis with a fixed 3" wheelbase and 2.5" width and big cartoon type front and rear tires and bodies. THESE sold like crazy. Champion followed suit with a similar car called "Thumper". Both sold a version for the clubs called "1/32 scale" no Womp or Thumper mentioned, that mostly had more scale like bodies and the tires tucked under the body and hard front tires.

Just in Time for the Dark Ages.

During the Dark Ages, Parma and Champion kept searching around for something they could sell. HOWEVER, the 1/32 clubs kept buying womps. WHY? Well, it was simple. In the late 60s the mail order market developed and a lot of tracks that failed blamed it on the mail order people stealing sales from Brick and Morter stores. Parma decided that they would only sell to a store if they had photos showing that the were a STORE with a TRACK and not a club. Thus, if you were a club, you had to work hard to have even ordinary things, such as new jet flag, braid and gears. And the ONLY available car you could buy at a track was a WOMP. Thus, most U.S. clubs used Womps, very cheap, as the source for their own racing.

At the same time ECRA required full bodied cars to be a uniform 2.5" wide. So, if your club had access to an englishman who could buy Betta bodies for you, you could RACE with womps fitted to ECRA legal bodies.

I doubt any of this "made the press". And I probably just bored you all!

Fate
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your imput guys,

Like I said above, we are more interested in the 3" x 2 1/2" bodies, more so then the whole package. (there certainly wont be any foam tyres or 'O' ring fronts when we get it up and running, ferrador will rip them to shreds)

At least that gives me an insite into the great hobby of ours

Hoff
 

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Russell Sheldon
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Just to add to Fate's history of the Womp Womp.

Riggen, founded by Al Riggen, was sold to Gayla Industries in 1972. The tooling for the chassis was used to produce aluminum versions, being cheaper than brass. Gayla Industries dropped slot cars in 1977 and REH obtained most of their stock, while Parma got the chassis tooling. The tooling was modified to create the Womp chassis known today.



Some would have us believe that the Womp Womp actually saved slot racing.... In the mid 70's there was no manufacturer of beginner slot cars, especially in 1/32 scale. Ken MacDowell of Parma came out with his little VW Bug Womp Womp, out of scale, but cute with its fat tires. It became an instant success, and is still around today with the addition of many different bodies besides the original VW.

In addition to the overscale Womps, Parma also do 2 1/2" wide versions; a BMW M3, Ford Escort, Jaguar GTP, Nissan GTP, Ferrari Testarossa, Lamborghini, Jaguar XJR 15 and a Ferrari F40. At $39.49, I feel they they are pricey for what you get. The Parma International 32 anglewinder, on the other hand, can be made to handle very well. An I-32 kit (less motor and body) costs $30.49. Unfortunately, it has dreadful 1/2" diameter front wheels.

I however agree with Coop; you might be better off looking at the TSRF32, although slightly more expensive in kit form (complete with motor, wheels tires & traction magnet) at $43.99
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Kind regards,

Russell
 

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I had a womp. I loved it. The lack of detail doesnt matter because you can hardly see it when it is 100' away on a large commercial track and going really fast.

This is a great commercial track car. It was only $15.
 

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QUOTE (Coopdevil @ 19 Nov 2004, 16:42)Unfortunately the wheelbase of the Parma Womp is quite short so that the vac bodies produced by JK, Betta etc. are not very good fits<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I noticed in the 2002 Parma catalogue that the Womp design has changed slightly since the era of the ones I have, it now looks that the front of the chassis has two sets of holes for front axles so the 3" wheelbase figure might be only one of two options now. What the other w/b is I'm afraid I don't know.

I did a test fit of an old Betta Autocoast Can-Am shell with an advertised w/b of 8' 1" and that seemed to fit OK with a 3" w/b (being only a scale 1" off). Does anybody know the other w/b available on a more modern Womp?

Coop
 

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[Having never driven a womp, or a TSRF car. I am wondering what elements would cause the TSRF to be a much better handling car. They both appear to have similar flat, rigid plate chassis. The pin guide of the TSRF is a major difference. I do not know how the track, and wheelbase compare. If they were to have the same tires and motor, why would the TSRF chassis be better handling. Any thoughts will be added knowledge base,
thanks
 

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The TSRF is not rigid. The plastic centre section is decoupled from the metal pans (off the top of my head and not having one to hand I think this done by the connection being rigid at the pin and the natural pliability of the plastic allowing for flex). This allows for torsion flexing and a small degree of both lateral and vertical movement, in effect operating in a similar fashion to that of a flexi car or (on a much lesser scale and far less sophisticated fashion) to that of a flexiboard. By flexi-car I mean a Eurotoy, Parma Flexi-any number, Champion Turboflex etc. and by flexiboard I mean say a Betta saloon. So the pans (and therefore the body) are semi-independent from the centre section that houses the pin, braids and the rear wheels.

Wheelbase is also adjustable on the TSRF, I think there are three settings for pan to centre section then a fine tweak of three sets of holes for front axles, giving in effect nine different w/b. The Womp has what is my modern standards a fairly short w/b leading to some stability problems compared to a longer w/b car. Also the Womp comes with a big 16D can with high centre of gravity (inline), the TSRF comes with a smaller Falcon motor, mounted sidewinder fashion.

Womp rear tyres have a large sidewall so they tend to act as a loaded spring under cornering stress.

Coop
 

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A follow-up to the Great Womp Question. Greg ("Cheater") from SlotBlog asked about the first appearance of the Womp Bug, so I dug into my archives and found some interesting information on the origin of the Parma Womp-Womp.

In fact, it dates back to... 1972! October 1972 issue of Car Model to be precise.

Parma Womp Womp-Racing Midwest-CM1072.jpg

Except, he says that the car has a "two-piece brass chassis", so not quite the Womp we all know and love... but the principle and the name - "Lil Womp-Womp" - are already there. The chassis photo is a bit dark, so not sure if it was really a 2 piece unit, but from what we can see, it may be closer to the Russkit Rattler.

The second mention is in the November/December 1973 issue of Car Model, but since there's the same ad, only a little clearer, in the May 74, I scanned that (and also because my one Racing Coast to Coast article was published in that issue...). Still no details on the car, however.

Parma Womp Womp-ad-CM0574.jpg

But at the same time, in the May 74 issue of International Modeler, Parma published a full-page ad with the "new wider chassis, wider body", and a shot of the new chassis underneath.

Parma Womp Womp-ad-IM0574.jpg

Confirmed in the 1974-1/2 Auto World catalog, not in the 1/32 RTR section, but in an added page at the front of the book dedicated to new releases.

Parma Womp Womp-AW-74.5.jpg

So, there you have a quick look at the Womp-Womp Time-Timeline... I was getting back into slots in 74-75, but frankly I don't remember seeing any Womps around Portland and Seattle, or being interested in them, which is probably why I didn't notice any. Our Group 12, 20 and 27 races were what interested most guys, so maybe we didn't need them...

Don
 

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Gerald Lambourn
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Thanks everyone for a great history update. A few years ago my friend Duncan gave me a bag of cars and bits that included three Womp-Womp chassis. I liked the wheels and motors, in fact I recently responged some wheels to fit Slotcarstyres, and binned the chassis. Wrong, never throw anything away! I do now have another WW chassis so I'll rebuild it as a bit of slot car history. Maybe a wide Betta body of a Porsche 911 will suit the short wheelbase.
 

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Don, if Womps have been here since the autumn of 1972 that makes them Bordo International eligible
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Coincidentally, during the current Covid curfew and earlier confinement I have been refurbishing some Riggen equivalents to Womps. Combine the two and we have a racing class for the Green Monster at Champagne Mouton, although Jean-Mi and Bruno don't know it yet
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